Seventeen-year-old Ally Maize is worth keeping an eye on. Just a few months ago, she and her peers behind the teen activist group Green Youth Movement (GYM) presented Al Gore with an inspiration award for his work motivating the next generation of environmentalists. A few weeks ago she and GYM joined forces with RecycleBank to bring the city of Los Angeles to zero waste.
The RecycleBank program offers a rewards incentive to individuals and communities that practice a green lifestyle by recycling, conserving water, using public transportation and much more. In other words, L.A. city residents will soon be able to get paid for their recycling.
According to RecycleBank, members typically earn between $130 and $200 in rewards each year through home recycling efforts. So you can't exactly quit your day job, but you can make enough to plump up your holiday spending or vacation fund. The idea is that when financial incentives are aligned, people will make better environmental choices.
“RecycleBank is a program that I feel extremely passionate about,” says Ally. “It provides such an accessible option for people who are determined to save our environment, but aren’t quite sure where to start. GYM’s partnership with RecycleBank will provide yet another valuable way teens can help save our environment.”
And as you would suspect, the teens behind GYM aren't leaving it up to adults to do the recycling. High school freshman Chloe Mills, GYM vice president and liaison for RecycleBank, will work with local schools to educate students about the benefits of RecycleBank. Hopefully, those students will be more inclined to help with the recycling at home, too.
Photo courtesy of Green Youth Movement